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Forces introduce new fitness test requirement for troops being deployed abroad

Forces introduce new fitness test requirement for troops being deployed abroad
From CBC - November 14, 2017

The Canadian Forces have adopted a new training regime for all troopsdeployed overseas that better reflects the kind of equipment, landscape and warfare they are likely to encounter.

The changes include a five-kilometre timed-march and a circuit comprised of intense exercises where the participants lift and drag heavy sandbags for short periods to simulate combat conditions when adrenalin-fuelled movements are short and intense with little rest in-between.

The new standard is one that Lt.-Col. Matthew Sprague says could be the difference between life and death for Canadian Forces' personnel and those under its command like members of the army, navy or air force.

"If you are on operations and are unable to move around and survive on a battlefield carrying your equipment, then you could easily die," he said in an interview with CBC News.

The new regime replaces the traditional 13 km march, which was the standard test for troops deployed to combat zones in places such as Bosnia and Afghanistan.

The changes are happening because the nature of warfare has changed, Maj.-Gen. Simon Hetherington, commander of the Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre in Kingstontold CBCNews Network'sPower & Politics.

"What we are seeing is more operations in complex terrain," Hetherington told guest hostDavid Common."That could be built-up areas, not the wide plains of Western Europe that we looked at in World War II that a lot of our training was based on."

Simulating the battlefield

In a May 17, 2016internal document obtained by CBC News through an access-to-information requestcalled a "warning order,"Lt.-Col. Sprague wrote that thenew fitness standardis not meant to be a one-time goal, but a measure that is "relevant" and "sustainable."

The new measurestook effect in October.

Participants must now complete a circuit that contains three stages:

An evolutionary change

Special waivers

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